Unfortunately for the Pittsburgh Steelers last season they never got a chance to see their 2015 second-round draft pick play a single snap all year as cornerback Senquez Golson had his entire rookie campaign wiped out by a shoulder injury that he suffered during the OTA practices. While the team is certainly hoping that Golson can play a big role in their defense in 2016, general manager Kevin Colbert admitted earlier this week in his talk with the local media that he still doesn’t know enough about the Mississippi product to say for sure what kind of player he’ll wind up being.
“He’s a rookie,” Colbert said of Golson, according to Will Graves of the Associated Press. “He was around, he got some of the OTAs, no training camp even though he was there. He saw it, he experienced it, he saw some of the regular season. But as far as stepping on the field, that will be brand new for him in training camp and especially once the games start, it will be new for us.”
Had Golson not gotten injured, the Steelers more than likely wouldn’t have had to trade for cornerback Brandon Boykin during training camp. With that said, Golson probably still wouldn’t have seen the field for at least the first quarter of the season as cornerbacks William Gay, Antwon Blake and Cortez Allen most likely would’ve seen the bulk of the playing time. Additionally, the Steelers still likely would’ve signed cornerback Ross Cockrell following his release from the Buffalo Bills even if Golson would’ve made it to the start of the regular season. Sure, that’s a lot of would’ves, but I think most of you agree with me on most of, if not all of, that.
As far as Golson’s immediate future goes, it will be interesting to see if they view him more as a slot sub package cornerback in 2016 even though he played extensively outside in college. Wherever he winds up playing, the Steelers certainly need him to hit the ground running this offseason so that he can contribute heavily in 2016. In essence, Colbert considers Golson an eighth draft pick this season for all of the obvious reasons.
“We’ve always had the mindset that Senquez Golson is a pick for this year, ever since we knew he was going to go on the Reserve/Injured List,” Colbert said, according to Graves. “We always felt that he would be one of our second-round picks in 2016. So that really hasn’t changed our thinking. We will have him in the mix.”
Golson registered 43 total tackles during his final year at Mississippi in addition to leading the SEC in 2014 with 10 interceptions.